Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Man United v Liverpool

Charlie Nicholas looks ahead to Manchester United's Europa League clash with Liverpool on Thursday night

Charlie Nicholas is backing Manchester United to beat Liverpool 2-1 in the return leg of their Europa League clash on Thursday night.

The Red Devils are preparing to host Jurgen Klopp’s men at Old Trafford as they look to overturn the 2-0 deficit from the first leg at Anfield last week.

A 2-1 win for United on Thursday would send Liverpool through to the quarter-finals with a 3-2 aggregate victory.

And although former Arsenal man Nicholas is tipping United to beat the Reds on the night, he is expecting to see Liverpool make it through to the last eight of Europe’s second tier club competition.

Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Nicholas said: “This tie isn’t over, but Manchester United need to start quickly and score first if they are to have any chance of progressing.

“Liverpool will be happy to drop off, pack the midfield and squeeze when they’re in their own half and Juan Mata is the key to unlock the defence.

“Marouane Fellaini was lucky to not be sent off in the first leg and I wouldn’t be surprised if things boil over and we get a red card here, especially if Liverpool get the away goal and United get frustrated.

“Anthony Martial is looking more dangerous and he is definitely United’s main dangerman now. He’s key for them to have any chance of pushing this towards extra-time, which I wouldn’t be surprised to see. I expect them to win the game, but go out. ”

United battled back from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw against West Ham United on Sunday afternoon to earn an FA Cup quarter-final replay at Upton Park.

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The Red Devils will face Everton at Wembley in the semi-finals if they are able to find a way past the Hammers.

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